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Woodland Pattern Hosts Frank X Walker, Amelia Klem Osterud

Nov. 30, 2009
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Poet Frank X Walker is officially credited with coining the term “Affrilachian,” an adjective that relates to African Americans who reside in or come from Appalachia. In so doing, this Kentucky native added new color to society’s perceptions of the multi-state region of Appalachia and has gone on to celebrate a style of verse based on this unexpected, but appropriate, idiom. Walker’s pieces are not always black-and-white, but rather cross barriers to connect the intellectual, political and cultural struggles of people. Walker will be talking up historical poetry when he hosts a writing workshop aptly titled “Making a Case for Historical Poetry” at Woodland Pattern Book Center on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 2 to 4 p.m. The $25 fee covers the community seminar as well as admission to a 7 p.m. public reading. Walker is the author of four poetry collections and currently serves as the writer-in-residence and a lecturer of English at Northern Kentucky University.

Milwaukeean Amelia Klem Osterud is a tattooed academic librarian, so no one should be surprised that her first manuscript is called The Tattooed Lady: A History. Yet while Osterud is indeed permanently inked, this publication is no autobiography. She writes of a time when it was entirely unseemly for a woman to show off a tattoo. The Tattooed Lady is a momentous tale that chronicles the women behind the tattooed bodies, women who traveled across America on circus trains during a time when even to reveal an ankle was outrageous. Osterud provides veritable accounts of these fearless females by bringing them front and center out of the carnival tents and into real life. By combining research with period photography, this local author explores women’s history alongside the cultural movement of tattooing. Osterud will visit Woodland Pattern Book Center as part of a new prose series on Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m.


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